Monday, October 20, 2014

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


My little princess had a birthday recently.  She was so excited for her big day that she literally counted down the days from the beginning of the month.   Then just days before the big event, my son got a stomach bug and was very sick.   The birthday party we had planned for all her cousins and family had to be postponed so no one else would get sick.  

I thought she would cry about all her birthday plans getting cancelled, but she did not even bat an eye or fuss.   I decided that these Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting would be a festive way to celebrate her low key birthday.   That's all I had to do as far as cooking was concerned for her birthday.  We offered to get take-out from a restaurant since we could not go out to celebrate with her sick brother.

When I asked her where she would like dinner from she quickly answered back...... Subway.  I know! I even doubled check and said she could get food from a number of other places, but she wanted her favorite Subway sub and french fries from McDonald's to make her perfect birthday meal this year.    So, this mother did not disappoint her... that's what she got. 

These cupcakes were the perfect little treat after a very simple (and tasty) meal picked out by the birthday girl.   It was a great birthday even with the change of plans... any day you get to celebrate with a cupcake is a good day. 

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

by Curry and Comfort
Prep Time: 30
Cook Time: 25
(18-20 cupcakes)
Vanilla Cupcakes

Wet Ingredients:
  • 2 unsalted sticks (1 cup) softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract (not imitation)
  • 1 cup sour cream (full or low fat)
  • 2 Tbs milk
Dry Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour or all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar or powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (melted in microwave or double boiler)
  • 1 1/2 unsalted sticks butter (softened)
  • 1 tsp instant coffee (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • small pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
For Cupcakes
1. Allow butter and eggs to sit out and come to room temperature.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
3. In a mixer or bowl with a hand mixer cream the butter.
4. Then add the sugar and cream the sugar into the butter until the mixture becomes fluffy and light in color. This will take several minutes.
5. Add the eggs one at at time to the creamed butter/sugar mixture. Allow each egg to fully incorporate into the batter before adding more eggs.
6. Then add the sour cream, milk and vanilla to the mixing bowl. Mix for a few minutes until everything is fully incorporated. .Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl while mixing.
6. Turn mixer off and add the dry ingredients into the bowl. Turn mixer on the lowest setting and let the dry ingredients incorporate into the wet. Increase the mixing speed until the batter is fully mixed (see note). Once combined, do not over mix the dry ingredients for best texture for cake.
7. Place in a cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners. Tip: Use an ice cream scoop to easily fill cupcake pan and have equally portioned cupcakes.
8. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or cupcakes are baked and toothpick comes out clean from center.

Note: I do not like to over mix the dry ingredients for a tender crumb to the cake. I like to place all the dry ingredients at one time and slowly mix it in to the wet ingredients. If you are not careful you can cause a big cloud of flour so always mix on the lowest speed until most of the flour starts to incorporate before you increase the speed. You can also move to a hand whisk at this stage if you want to mix the batter gently.

For Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1. Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder together and set aside.
2. Melt chocolate in microwave and allow to cool.
3. In a mixing bowl use a handheld mixer to mix the butter until fluffy.
4. Then add the sugar/cocoa powder mixture, coffee powder, salt, vanilla, milk and cream together.
5. Next add the melted chocolate and cream until you have a fluffy frosting.
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